ITB 2018

Turkey is back in business

German bookings are up 50 per cent after two difficult years for a traditional favourite.

March 09, 2018
Turkey is dancing to the tune of a tourism comeback.
Photo: Christian Wyrwa

Upbeat ministers are celebrating a spectacular comeback for Turkey in 2018 after two years of dramatic decline. German bookings have jumped more than 50 per cent thanks to value for money and an easing of political tensions between the two countries.

“I am expecting a massive increase this year,” said Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu at ITB. The minister, who represents Antalya in the Turkish parliament, urged the German government to drop warnings about possible arrests of German citizens from its travel advice for the country.

For his part, tourism minister Numan Kurtumulus told an ITB press conference: “We will count among the strong players in the travel industry again in 2018 and 2019. I expect more than five million German visitors this year, after 3.5 million in 2017.”

The record year for German visitors to Turkey was 5.6 million in 2015. Figures slumped to 3.9 million in 2016 after terror attacks and controversy about Turkish government policies, and there was another slight fall last year.

Globally, Turkey hopes to welcome 38 million visitors this year, up from 32 million in 2017. This would exceed the previous record of 36 million arrivals in 2014.

Turkey has the largest stand at ITB this year.

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